New and Good November 2019

What’s New and Good?Sunset in Newport Oregon

Hello from Lake Albert gone! I’m sitting in our sunny dining room on November 21st and it’s a fine morning. Coffee to my left, laptop to my front and a collection of house plants I’ve gathered over the years. I also like collecting glass orbs and have quite a few strewn around the living and dining room.

But that’s not why I’ve gathered you here. Mostly, it’s just to get in the habit of writing more. Less FB posts and one-off newsletters, and more writing writing 🙂  Yes, in preparation for January and February when I intend to do some longer pieces – namely my autobiography! Yes, it’s 11 chapters long and of course includes info about hitching across the country in 1981, a year living on a kibbutz in Israel and my involvement in Habonim which led up to that; 14 years of attending Burning Man into one chapter – we’ll see how that goes. Some of the chapters could probably be books of their own, but this will be an Albert taster. I’ve actually made a deal with myself that I will not attend Burning Man again until I can hand someone either a copy of the book or a thumbdrive of it or digital download code.  Or, the other thing that opens the gates to the playa would be me bringing a giant art piece I have in mind. But that’s a much bigger lift.  We’ll see which wins – but my current plan is to bring some form of the book forth next. I have the free time for this, and the stories – encouragement welcome!

Last night we hosted a Higher Thought Cannabis Game night here. Get your game today! It’s a really fun way to gather with people and share insights and thinking. All sorts of stuff gets discussed.  I’m constantly surprised at what comes up. You may remember my earlier mention of this game in my Cards blog post of last year. Since that time I’ve become part owner (15%) of Higher Thought and I’m also helping Aaron Trotter out with his empire of decks over at Illustrated Playing Cards. I really do think the decks in my post are possible ways for people to move themselves forward. I think it helps people when groups share knowledge. It almost reminds me of the days of yore when we’d sit around the campfire and tell stories. Perhaps it’s time to go back to that practice so that we can get our societies on better footing in preparation for dealing with climate change and other big challenges headed our way. That’s where my mind went to last night, at least.

So, I’m moving. At the end of the year I’m renting a friend’s house for 2 months (Jan and Feb. 2020!) and then I’m not sure what comes after that.  Very likely more Portland. I’ve had this thought lately of starting a “we’re staying” club. No matter how bad the traffic gets. No matter how many noobs from elsewhere come and move in – we’re staying!  We could have buttons and patches. I think there’s a value when we decide to stick it out and not do the typically American thing of moving when things get challenging. We’ll see how that goes. I’ve been here 18 years and there’s also something to be said for more sunshine 🙂  And warmth.  That’s partly what drew me to the PNW – warmth – so I wouldn’t have to brave the East Coast winters. But today’s very unusual sunshine is reminding me that more of that certainly would be nice.

To perturb my life I’m going to fly back East for Thanksgiving (that is the sweet part) and then drive back to Portland via points non-snow-covered in early December. That’s the perturbing part. I did this drive about 20 years ago and I’m excited to give it another whirl. I hope to visit friends in Chicago, Austin, Santa Fe and possibly California.  I definitely want to visit Summer Lake hot springs, too in Eastern Oregon. We’ll see what the weather and various visits have to say about all of this as I get underway around December 2nd.  If you living the middle of the country somewhere and would like a visit, please get in touch!

K, that feels good. Off she goes.  An Albert update!

15 Years in Portland

I moved to Portland, Oregon 15 years ago in 2002 – right after Folklife and around the time of the Breitenbush Summer Solstice Healing Retreat – SSHR – which I’ve been attending serially since 1995 (thank you, Shelley Glendenning).

Aloha!
Yes, it’s true, I’m back on Maui! I’ve taken to highlighting sections on my calendar where there are open spaces – this time the invitation by my friend Jenny to return to Maui was offered and I decided to come back for another round. This trip has been very different from my time here in March – more reading/beach and less touring/social/business – oriented. I needed to find this book on happiness, for instance.
The lanai
Speaking of Maui, Jenny’s place is for rent 6.1-26 – comes with a car – click here for more info.

Birthday Wish

The birthday wishes on FB are sweet, but so impermanent. If you’d like to take a moment and leave a review either on Yelp! or my Albertideation  Facebook page – I’ll be able to keep them forever! Thank you!

MAKING PROGRESS

I moved to Portland, Oregon in 2002 about this time of year. That makes it my 15th year anniversary. During that time I’ve been involved in so many projects and ideas. I was thinking it might be fun to take a gander at these in a free-style gonzo-journalism approach and see what I come up with.  Here goes.
Farm My Yard – my DIY project for bringing together urban farmers and people with yards they wish to farm. That got started 5 years ago – about the same time as The Birthday Garden – a community garden a bunch of us started 5 years ago at 3rd and Hancock, NE. Well, The Birthday Garden transitioned into home for a few tiny houses and many of us who were involved moved away from the area – so, that’s no longer a community garden. Farm My Yard? It’s got an email list of 450 people/a website/a FB and Twitter presence. I still get asked about it a lot – and it still remains a place where people come for information about how to connect with their neighbors – overall, I think it’s been a good thing, but I’ve never really pushed it forward in the way I had envisioned – by buying a bunch of signs and handing them out at farmers’ markets and helping it to happen big time in a neighborhood – and then repeating that if it worked. So, I feel a little frustrated about this one.
Freecycle: I gave the Freecycle Network a push in 2003 after coming back from my 3rd Burning Man and starting Freecycle Portland (and then many Freecycle groups around the world). That seems to be going very well, these days, and I’m not involved at all. I did get a free t-shirt, but it was an XL and I’m not wearing those anymore, so I think I passed it along!
Progressive politics. Well, that’s a big one. I still feel that I’m participating in bringing forth progressive policies and candidates. It’s hard to really feel that positive about this during the time of impending impeachment at the national level, but in the last many years we’ve managed to do a lot of great work at the state and local level – preventing fluoridation of Portland’s water; legalizing cannabis in Oregon; preventing LNG/Oil/Coal terminals in the area – pushing back against many of these, successfully. And there have been lots of losses, too – I’m sure I’m not the only one that wishes measure 97 had passed – this would have forced OR state corporations to pay more of their fair share of taxes – it was close but we lost. Then, there’s GMO-labeling – which also was close – but we were outspent by Monsanto and friends, heavily, and that effort seems stalled at the moment.
Then there’s Bernie. Like many of my progressive friends, I really wanted Bernie to win the nomination. At least it would have been a good thing had he been put on the ticket as VP – I’m still not sure why Hillary and Co. didn’t think of/do that. Anyway, now we’ve got the hand that we were dealt on the national level and my main hope is that we will all focus on making sure people all over the country have the right and easy access to vote. If everyone could vote by mail like we do in Oregon, this country would get on a better track, quickly. I’m sure of it.
Population issues. We’re at 7.5 billion people. More than double when I was born in 1961. We add 75 million people a year. In my reading of the situation everything related to climate change comes back to our human numbers increasing. I keep trying to add that commentary into every conversation I have with people about climate change. Here on Maui I just heard a great talk by a guy who studies climate science – and learned a new phrase – nuisance flooding. That nagging flooding that comes once in a while – it doesn’t wipe everything out, but it sure is a nuisance. There are a lot of great people working on climate change and I wish they would all start mentioning the elephant in the room – population growth.  If we could bring our numbers down we’d have a chance (as would other species). If not, I don’t think all the windmills and solar panels in the world will do enough because we’ll keep needing more and more of everything. Feel free to join me – and learn about and donate to Population Connection in DC – doing the great work of lobbying Congress and informing people about this issue since it was called ZPG (Zero Population Growth) many years ago. Through PopConnect I’ve traveled to DC many times to lobby my congresspeople. Luckily, these days, the Oregon delegation is fantastic on the issues minus the Republican schmuck, Greg Walden, from Eastern Oregon.
Then there are some local things I’ve been working on:
  • Organizing a group of tree enthusiasts who are trying to adjust the Portland tree code to save more tall old trees as they are threatened by development. This has led to an email list and FB group for organizing.
  • A neighborhood effort to find a grocery store replacement for Zupan’s which moved out of their Belmont Street location
  • Trying to encourage the fabulous social media site, Nextdoor.com to add a ride share category to their site – this would be such a huge and excellent addition to their site. On a side note – I’ve joined Nextdoor.com here in Maui and I’m trying to encourage local folks to use it. I imagine the impact in a spread out local community like Ha’aiku could be incredible.
  • Supporting artists/musicians/friends – I have a bunch of friends who’ve been raising money to support their music and I’ve been mentoring some to use various tools and approaches that I’ve learned over the years.

So, that’s a random sampling of some of the things I’ve been up to in the 15 years of living in Portland (heavily weighted to recent times). Plus throwing a few great parties at Hollywood Vintage; helping a bunch of trees get planted; etc. One of the reasons I’m listing all of this is that I’m going through a thought process right now trying to figure out my personal direction(s) for the future. I recognize that I’m a bit spread thin and this is leading me to have a huge network but perhaps not as much depth as I’d like. It’s kind of how my social life is built, too, and I want to change that. I’ve recently found myself deleting myself as an admin on various FB pages where I don’t have a major role (BRCPO, you may be next!) and I’ll probably continue down this path of tidying until I get to the point where when I pick something up I’m either feeling joy, or discarding!

Being in Maui has been great for my mood. And now I’m feeling ready to be back on the mainland and I’m looking forward to a great Summer filled with connection; gardening; some awesome client work; and further refining what I’m doing with my time.

I hope life/work/love is treating you perfectly.

Mahalo (thank you) for being my friend and ally,

Albert

Now that that’s over

Are you feeling that “get back to work” feeling, now that Summer’s ending? I’ve been reading some fun articles* on strategies to make the transition easier.  It’s still not making it any easier, and the last couple days of amazing weather definitely didn’t help my productivity any!  That said, I have been focusing on learning about how to adjust to the constant changes that are affecting the business world. 

Recently, I watched a webinar featuring Jeremy Miller of Sticky Branding. He’s been writing a lot about “ disruption “, lately. One of the take-aways from his writing is something he shared that Jeff Bezos of Amazon focuses on – the Constants:
  • Bezos:  “I very frequently get the question: ‘What’s going to change in the next 10 years?’ And that is a very interesting question; it’s a very common one. I almost never get the question: ‘What’s not going to change in the next 10 years?’ And I submit to you that that second question is actually the more important of the two, because you can build a business strategy around the things that are stable in time.”
There is so much great business writing coming out these days – it’s a pleasure to wade through it all – and once in a while I  add in my own thoughts . These are also ideas and strategies I’m happy to help you apply to your own marketing efforts. Get in touch and let’s see if what I know can help your bottom line.
Get some tips on holiday marketing, here
Have a great Day!
Sincerely,
Albert Kaufman, Albertideation
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OneCon 2015

Takeaways from OneCon2015

I attended Constant Contact’s OneCon in Las Vegas from October 4-6th, 2015. This time I was much better prepared to take advantage of all that was on offer – great keynote sessions; product updates; panels; and lots of time for networking. I learned a ton – some is evident through the pictures and captions below, but some will have to wait until I gather my notes and go a bit deeper. I think one of my main take-aways was that I’m on the right track. Listening to email marketing expert/guru, Michael Katz talk a couple times, reminded me that I’m doing a lot of what he does – and what he does works. He’s himself. He tells stories. He has a relaxed take on things – very refreshing in the world of business. And, he’s a solopreneur, just like me!

I also have been moving to a more philosophical take on what I do. Reviewing the situation… And, I think I’m figuring out a way forward that works for me. Working with great clients who are doing interesting things and taking the time to get things right. I’m not rushing and I’m being more careful and considerate as I go. And, what a great bunch of people I’ve decided to join up with (both within Constant Contact and my current client mix). I’m more convinced by this year’s OneCon that email marketing is THE way forward for small businesses who want to reach their audiences in an easy and inexpensive and REPEATABLE way. Hearing peoples’ challenges in quantifying value from social media was refreshing. Here are some photos and some ideas – enjoy! Your feedback (a gift, thanks Ron Cates for reminding us of that) is welcome in the comments section, below.

If you’d like to get started working together, start by signing up for a Constant Contact account. As one longtime solution provider clearly stated: “If you don’t have $20/mo. to spend on marketing, you’re not really in business”. Take yourself and your efforts seriously and invest in email marketing!

Brandon Klayton of Conscious Commerce in Canada. One of my mentors. Learn more about him here: http://www.cc94.com/

On the left: Brandon Klayton of Conscious Commerce in Canada. One of my mentors. Learn more about him here: http://www.cc94.com/

A brilliant panel about ways to make what we do pay off

A brilliant panel about ways to make what we do pay off

All of the new features delivered this year. I'm going to do a blog post just on this slide. Or, perhaps a short video. Next week, I promise!

New Constant Contact features delivered this year. I’m going to do a blog post on this slide. (Can you say AUTORESPONDERS?) Or, perhaps a short video. Next week, I promise!

Constant Contact making a point by turning off the screen for a moment (clever!)

Constant Contact making a point by turning off the screen for a moment (clever!)

More brilliance from experts on client relations

More brilliance from experts on client relations. Michael Katz, moderating.

A great panel with Michael Katz discussing good clients and how to keep them. Bad clients and how to fire them :)

A great panel with Michael Katz discussing good clients and how to keep them. Bad clients and how to fire them 🙂

2015-10-05 14.36.58

This was a slide shared by Michael Katz that outlines his strategy for running his business. I think I’m going to move towards this model. Lunch, anyone?

Close-up of donut!

Close-up of donut! Who is in your network?

Great info presented clearly.

Great info presented clearly by Michael Katz.

Michael Katz. Simply. The. Best. Here's what I wrote to the Solution Providers post event: Also, one person who continues to inspire me is Michael Katz. Maybe it’s the way he wears his heart on his sleeve. Maybe it’s the fun stories that are always teaching me something. Whatever it is, if you’re not on his email list, join it and you’ll soon see what I’m talking about. If we all did more of what he does, the world would be a better place (and you’d find those clients you wish you had :) http://bluepenguindevelopment.com/ I also like his “Today I…” series… You can sign up for it, here. http://thetodayiblog.com/

Michael Katz. Simply. The. Best. This is one person who continues to inspire me day in and day out. Maybe it’s the way he wears his heart on his sleeve. Maybe it’s the fun stories that are always teaching me something. Whatever it is, if you’re not on his email list, join it and you’ll soon see what I’m talking about. If we all did more of what he does, the world would be a better place (and you’d find those clients you wish you had 🙂 http://bluepenguindevelopment.com/ I also like his “Today I…” series… You can sign up for it, here. http://thetodayiblog.com/

Corissa St. Laurent, Carol Infranca, Don Richardson, Debbie Rinckey and Kathy Day. My fellow PNW ALEs (and Corissa, my Regional Development Director for Constant Contact)

Corissa St. Laurent, Carol Infranca, Don Richardson, Debbie Rinckey and Kathy Day. My fellow PNW ALEs (and Corissa, my Regional Development Director for Constant Contact)

The Team from the Pacific Northwest: L to R: Twanda, Carol, Moi, Debbie, Lisa, Kathy, Don and Corissa

The Team from the Pacific Northwest: L to R: Twanda, Carol, Moi, Debbie, Lisa, Kathy, Don and Corissa

Corissa & Stuart Atkins

Corissa St. Laurent & Stuart Atkins

Ron Cates, fellow ALE - Don Richardson, and Gail Goodman, the CEO of Constant Contact. learn more about Don @ http://www.digitalpopcorn.net/

Ron Cates (watch for him on the stand-up circuit, btw), fellow ALE – Don Richardson, and Gail Goodman, the CEO of Constant Contact. learn more about Don @ http://www.digitalpopcorn.net/

It was gray and rainy... wait, it's not Portland! you can tell by the palm trees. But we did have flash flood warnings on Saturday night!

It was gray and rainy… wait, it’s not Portland! you can tell by the palm trees. We had flash flood warnings on Saturday night!

Marsha Pearson a fellow ALE from Philadelphia. One of my highlights was hanging out together on the ride in. Learn more about her @ http://emailmarketing.guru/

Marsha Pearson a fellow ALE from Philadelphia. One of my highlights was hanging out together on the ride in. Learn more about her @ http://emailmarketing.guru/

When this event comes to Portlandia, we will not have any bottled water. I will see to that!

When this event comes to Portlandia, we will not have any bottled water. I will see to that!

One of my favorite slides. Straightforward and correct.

One of my favorite slides. Straightforward and correct.

Zachery Barron, our area director

Zachery Barron, our area director

Hanging out with my fellow PNW ALEs over drinks in the lobby

Hanging out with my fellow Pacific Northwest Authorized Local Experts over drinks in the lobby. From left to right: Carol, Lisa, Don and Twanda!

My fellow Pacific Northwest ALE team!

My fellow Pacific Northwest Authorized Local Expert team!

Another amazing chandelier

One amazing chandelier

This chandelier was sparkly

This chandelier was sparkly

The chandeliers at the Red Rock Resort are really eye-catching

The chandeliers at the Red Rock Resort are really eye-catching

First panel of the day

First panel of the day on Sunday

Some words about one of my favorite clients, Gaealana Healing Arts: http://www.gaealanahealingarts.com/

Some words about my work with one of my favorite clients, Gaealana Healing Arts

http://www.gaealanahealingarts.com/

There was a nice poster about my work with Gaealana Healing Arts in Portland, Oregon near the front of the room: http://www.gaealanahealingarts.com/

2015-10-04 14.32.24

Thanks to everyone at Constant Contact for hosting such a great, inspiring event! Until #onecon2016 (in Portlandia, ok?)

The graphics were really nicely done

The graphics were really nicely done – sharp and clear – makes a big difference!

2015-10-04 13.07.58

First session on Sunday – everyone was pumped up and enthuiastic

One of the opening sessions featured Richard Israel who leads the Solution Provider Program for Constant Contact

One of the opening sessions featured Richard Israel who leads the Solution Provider Program for Constant Contact

Comfy!

Such a comfy bed – I could get used to living like this!

View from my amazing room at the Red Rock Resort

The view from my amazing room at the Red Rock Resort

#OneCon2015 in Las Vegas - Constant Contact's annual convention for solution providers

#OneCon2015 in Las Vegas – Constant Contact’s annual convention for solution providers – Thanks again! See you at #onecon2016!

Albert at #OneCon2015

See you next year!

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